The suspect on trial for the murder of 19-year-old Vanessa Pham has admitted that he stabbed the aspiring fashion designer to death, but says the killing was not premeditated, the The Washington Post reported Monday.
Twenty-seven-year-old Blanco Garcia, of Falls Church, was hallucinating after he smoked PCP, his lawyer said in court. The lawyer said that Garcia feared that Pham—who was giving him a ride to the hospital from a Fairfax County parking lot— would harm his daughter, so Garcia took a butcher knife and stabbed her, according to the Post.
Post reporter Justin Jouvenal is live-tweeting the trial, which began Monday.
Pham was a Madison High School student who had just finished her freshman year at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She was last seen at the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center, where she visited a store and left the area in her car, according to Fairfax County police.
Authorities found her dead 30 minutes later after receiving a report of a crash near Arlington Boulevard and Williams Drive. The case went unsolved for over two and a half years. In December, Fairfax County Police arrested Garcia.
Rachel Hatzipanagos contributed to this report.